Granta | The Magazine of New Writing

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Outside the Whale

Salman Rushdie

‘For a man as truthful, direct, intelligent, passionate and sane as Orwell, ‘politics’ had come to represent the antithesis of his own world-view.’

Frankenstein’s Mother

Darcey Steinke

‘If pain is what makes others real to us, there was not another human being more real to me than my mother.’

Pause

Mary Ruefle

‘Nothing can prepare you for this.’ Mary Ruefle on menopause.

Tommy

Donald Ray Pollock

‘I began working at the Mead Paper Company in Chillicothe, Ohio, in the summer of 1973.’

Jim Magee’s Hill

Pamela Petro

‘No one who’s seen The Hill has been able to describe it to me without visceral discomfort. Actually, no one’s been able to describe it at all.’

How to be Gay and Indian

Manil Suri

‘This was supposed to be my great in-your-face coming-out campaign, which I’d fretted over for months beforehand. Had India suddenly lost its conservativeness, turned enlightened, even hip?’

The Ambivalent

Paulo Scott

‘He not only sees the World Cup as a ceasefire, but also as a series of sleights of hand that hide what’s really going on, political debauchery, spin and chicanery.’

Famished Eels

Mary Rokonadravu

‘After one hundred years, this is what I have: a daguerreotype of her in bridal finery; a few stories told and retold in plantations, kitchens, hospitals, airport lounges.’

Constitutional

Helen Simpson

‘The thing about a circular walk is that you end up where you started’

Election Night in Nicaragua

Sergio Ramirez

‘There was no room in our dreams for another war.’

Scarp | New Voices

Nick Papadimitriou

‘His imagination lingers in the woods and fields like a slowly drifting plant community and then dissolves into ditches lined with black waterlogged leaves – a residue of previous summers – and the ghosts of dead insects.’

Cold Storage

Oliver Sacks

‘Uncle Toby was alive, but suspended, apparently, in some strange icy stupor.’

Kashmir’s Forever War

Basharat Peer

‘Yes, the gun was from Pakistan, but the stones are our own. That is our only weapon against the occupation.’

The Road to Abyei

John Ryle

‘Bor is a long way from Khartoum – more than 700 miles. There were other hostile groups on the way and precious little food.’

West

Caryl Phillips

‘Curling herself into a tight fist against the cold, Martha huddled in the doorway and wondered if tonight she might see snow.‘

A Guide to the City of Beirut

Fawwaz Traboulsi

‘In Beirut, a well reveals layer upon layer, generation after generation, of ruins.’

What Young Men Do

Richard Lloyd Parry

‘Everyone I met in West Kalimantan had tales of Dayak magic’.

Going Abroad

W.G. Sebald

‘In Vienna I visited none of the sights and spoke not a word to a soul’.

Love Jihad

Aman Sethi

‘He said Love Jihad, or the practice of Muslims seducing Hindu girls with the aim of converting them to Islam, was an existential threat to India.’

Cinema’s Invisible Art

Jeremy Sheldon

‘Audiences don’t know somebody sits down and writes a picture.’

Other Women

Francine Prose

‘Feminism is as basic to my sense of self as the fact that I have brown eyes.’

When Skateboards Will Be Free

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

‘My mother and father believe that the United States is destined one day to be engulfed in a socialist revolution.’

Letters to My Father, Now Dead

Teresa Pàmies

‘I was glad to see General Pavel at your funeral, Father.’

Nuclear Arms And The Fate Of The Earth

Jonathan Schell

‘We have lived in the shadow of nuclear arms for more than thirty-six years, so it does not seem too soon for us to familiarize ourselves with them - to acquaint ourselves with such matters as the ‘thermal pulse’, the ‘blast wave’, and the ‘three stages of radiation sickness.’’

Eating the Eggs of Love

Salman Rushdie

‘Forested mesas flanked the road to Matagalpa; ahead, the multiform mountains, conical, twisted, sinuous, closed the horizon.’

Medtner

Philip Pullman

‘It feels like being a child in a room where adults are having a deep and passionate conversation about important things’

Dutch Harbor Nights

Jim Ruland

‘When one of the fishermen starts belting out ‘All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Out Tonight’, it feels like a prophecy come to life.’

God and Me

Lucretia Stewart

‘It’s almost impossible to describe how it feels to believe in God. There really aren’t words elevated enough to explain it.’

Breach Candy

Samanth Subramanian

‘There are clubs like the Breach Candy Club all over the Indian subcontinent: relics of the Raj, institutions that were set up as bolt-holes for the British, where they could retreat to row or swim or play cricket or race horses.’

Key Stroke

Will Self

Striking the keys of the same typewriter that once sat under J.G. Ballard’s fingers, Will Self reimagines the legendary writer’s last days.

The Josser

Nell Stroud

‘When I was ten we moved to the country, to a village called Minety.’

The River Potudan

Andrei Platonov

‘Grass had grown back on the trodden-down dirt tracks of the civil war, because the war had stopped.’

The Seventh Event

Richard Powers

‘Think of mitosis as trillions of slightly near-sighted, plagiarizing students’

Cyclone

Jonathan Raban

‘It began as a vacuum in the atmosphere, far out over the Atlantic. Trying to fill itself, it set up a spinning mass of air, like a plughole sucking water from a bath; but the faster the winds blew, the more the vacuum deepened.’

The Mercies

Ann Patchett

‘Once you knew what God wanted from your life, you would have to be ten different kinds of fool to look the other way.’